Geophysical Technologies in Oil and Potassium-Magnesium Salt Exploration and Man-Caused Impact Assessment

Basic Divisions: Department of Geophysics; Modeling and Prediction Laboratory, Perm University Natural Sciences Institute.
Brief Description of Research Activities
The programme is relevant due to the country's needs in discovery of new oil and gas deposits. This study aims at solving the fundamental problem of improvement of the theory of interpretation of geophysical fields and development of computer technologies, providing new methods for obtaining data from seismic, gravity, electrical, aerogravity and aeromagnetic observations as well as well log data.
Currently more than 60% of global oil production accounts for carbonate reservoirs. Therefore there is necessity for integrated interpretation of geophysical and hydrodynamic well surveying in order to create a new technology for studying complex reservoirs, which will allow using modern dynamic models instead of old static ones and new software for modeling and calculating dynamic correlation of productivity and permeability with layer pressure.
The problem of man-made pollution of the geological environment, caused by oil and gas exploitation, is becoming more urgent. This is due to not only ecological hazard of extension of this process, but irretrievable loss of valuable hydrocarbon resources.
Multiple emergencies in salt mines in Russia and abroad result in significant material and raw material losses. Thus, the emergencies in 1986 and 2006 at Russia’s largest Verkhnekamskoe potassium-magnesium salt accumulation (VPMSA) caused breakthrough of underground water in the mining area and the loss of two mines. In this regard the development of new effective methods to identify potentially troublesome zones of disturbance in waterproof strata and to control the dynamics of this process is of great importance.
Researchers, working in the programme, prove usefulness of technogenic electromagnetic fields in the study of the geological environment structure and physical condition. It is shown that the use of the basic operating frequency of 50 Hz and a set of multiple harmonics of 100, 150, 200, 300, 450, 650 Hz etc. allows profiling the geological environment on the basis of skin effect. The penetration depth of such fields at the largest Verkhnekamskoe potassium-magnesium salt accumulation can reach several hundred metres.
2D and 3D seismic data make it possible to study characteristics of the horizontal seismic anisotropy, which shows that there are micro cracked zones with a certain azimuth of crack pattern. This information must be used for better accuracy of geotechnical investigation and mining.
There was developed a new technology for analytical calculation of geopotential field transforms, which takes account of the influence of outside sources and is based on the construction of multi-level analytical approximations of the measured field by a system of harmonic potential functions.
There was created a technology for the study of physical and porosity & permeability properties of carbonate reservoirs of oil fields with different types of the pore space structure, used in the Volga-Ural and Timan-Pechora oil and gas provinces.
This technology allows defining oil and gas reserves in the oil field named after Arkhangelsky, Kudryavtsevskoe field, Ozyornoe field, Siberian field and Shershnevskoe field. The suggested technology for geological modeling of carbonate reservoirs is recommended not only for the Volga-Ural and Timan-Pechora oil and gas provinces, but other regions of Russia, CIS and other countries.
The task of determining seismic intensity of the area is an important step of preparation of project documentation of construction objects, located in areas with a high level of natural seismicity.
Selected Publications Characterising Scientific Research Trend
1. Sanfirov I.A., Baibakova T.V. Time-lapse Shallow Seismic Reflection CDP Observations in the Area of Water Penetration to Potash Mine // 70th- EAGE International Conference. Rome, Italy, 2008. P. 380-383. (In English).
2. Babkin A.I. Reflection Seismics in Mine Working of Salt Mines // Geophysics. 2006. № 3. P. 23-26. (In Russian).
3. Babkin A.I., Sanphirov I.A. Methodological Characteristics of Mine Acoustic Measurements in  Verkhnekamskoe Potassium Accumulation // Mining informational and analytical bulletin (scientific and technical journal). 2007. №11. P. 18-21. (In Russian).
4. Gershanok V.F., Chadaev M.S. On Correlation between the Gravitational Potentials of Three-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Fields // Geology and Mineral Resources of the Western Urals / Perm state University. Perm, 2010. P. 171-173. (In Russian).
5. Gershanok L.A. Geomagnetic Works / Perm State University. Perm, 2009. 421 p. (In Russian).
6. Gubina A.I. Geophysical Methods of Stratigraphic Correlation / Perm State University. Perm, 2010. 201 p. (In Russian)
7. Dolgal A.S., Pugin A.V.  Construction of Analytical Approximations of Geopotential Fields based on their Fractal Structure // Doklady Akademii Nauk (Proceedings of the Russian Academy of Sciences). 2006. V. 410. (In Russian).
8. Dolgal A.S., Simanov A.A. The Use of Multiresolution Wavelet-Analysis at Analytical Approximations of Geopotential Fields // Doklady Akademii Nauk (Proceedings of the Russian Academy of Sciences). 2008. V. 418, № 2. (In Russian).
9. Dyagilev R.A., Malovichko D.A. Microseismic Zoning / Perm State University. Perm, 2007. 90 p. (In Russian).
10. Kolesnikov V.P. Basics of Interpretation of Electrical Sounding. М.: Scientific World, 2007. 248 p. (In Russian).
11. Kostitsyn V.I. Search for Oil and Gas Reserves in the Far North by Gravity Data and a Priori Information // Theory and Practice of Geological Interpretation of Gravity, Magnetic and Electric Fields. Ukhta: Publishing house USTU, 2008. P. 139-141. (In Russian).
12. Mityunina I.Yu. Computer Technologies in Geophysics / Perm State University, Perm, 2007. 84 p. (In Russian).
13. Neganov V.M.  Seismic-Geological Interpretation of Geophysical Data of the Middle Urals and Prospects for Further Research on Oil and Gas / Perm State University, Perm, 2010. 248 p. (In Russian).
14. Nekrasov A.S. Geological-Geophysical Study of Carbonate Reservoirs of Oil Fields / Perm State University, Perm, 2007. 422 p. (In Russian).
15. Ponosov V.A., Gorozhantsev S.V., Nekrasov A.S. Geophysical Methods of Control of Oil and Gas Fields / Perm State University, Perm, 2007. 217 p. (In Russian).
16. Spassky B.A., Gerasimova I.Yu. Seismic Stratigraphy / Perm State University, Perm, 2007. 267 p. (In Russian).
17. Tajnitsky A.A., Ponosov V.A., Gorozhantsev A.V. The Use of Electrical Prospecting in Solving Hydrogeologycal Problems // Geology and Mineral Resources of the Western Urals. Perm, 2010. P. 198-201. (In Russian).
18. Teplukhin V.K. and others. Results of Technological Test of Electro-Magnetic Fault Detector EMFD-TM at the Sites of Oman // NTV “Karotazhnik”. Tverj: Izd. AIS. Tver: AIS, 2008. Issue 8. P. 3-9. (In Russian).
19. Khmelevskoy V.K., Kostitsyn V.I. Basics of Geophysical Methods: Textbook for Higher school / Perm State University, Perm, 2010. 400 p. (In Russian).
20. Shumilov A.V. Oil Well Diagnostics by Geophysical Methods / Perm State University, Perm, 2007. 124 p. (In Russian).
The Most Significant Fundamental and Applied Research Projects within Scientific Research Trend
1. State Contract № 02.515.12.0018 «Development of geophysical technologies for monitoring control of mine development of potassium-magnesium salts and interpretation methods for complex carbonate reservoirs of oil fields» under the Federal Target Program «Research and Development in Priority Fields for the Development of Russia’s S&T Complex for 2007-2012». 2008.
2. RFBR Grant 07-05-97624-r_ofi «Development of methods for identification of caverns and evaluation of their development by local seismological monitoring». 2007-2008.
3. RFBR Grant 07-05-96038-r_ural_а «Seismological Observations Development in the Western Urals». 2007-2009.
4. Order from Subsurface Management Department of the Perm region: «Regional seismic, gravity and geochemical studies in order to discover oil-zones and sites for licensing». 2007-2010.
Training of Researchers (Post-Graduate and Post-Doctoral programmes)
Post-graduate programme on specialization 25.00.10 «Geophysics, Geophysical Methods of Mineral Prospecting». The Candidate of Science Degree in Geological and Mineralogical (Physical and Mathematical, Technical) Sciences is awarded.
Doctorate course on specialization 25.00.10 «Geophysics, Geophysical Methods of Mineral Prospecting». The Doctor of Science Degree in Geological and Mineralogical (Physical and Mathematical, Technical) Sciences is awarded.
International Scientific and Educational Activities with Scientific Trend
1. Cooperation with the geophysical company GEOSOFT (Canada, Toronto). Signed «Memorandum of Understanding» dated 28 April, 2008.
2. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) student section was established at Department of Geophysics, Perm State University in 2009.

The leading scientists

Vladimir I. Kostitsyn

15 Bukireva, Perm 614990, Russia
Perm State University
Faculty of Geology
Department of Geophysics
Phone, Fax, e-mail
+7 (342) 239-66-57, fax: +7(342)239-68-32, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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